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Clarinets Vandoren hardness vs Rico for clarinet


New Member
SW London
I play clarinet using a 2.5 Vandoren reed. The sound is a bit thin at the high end, which I know is largely me still being quite new to it, but I'd like a slightly thicker reed to make me sound less tinny!

However, a Vandoren 3 is just too hard-going. It's too breathy and even my teacher recommended me to just stick with the 2.5.

So i was just thinking that ideally I could do with a 2.75, when I found this chart online

According to that, Ricos are slightly different hardness and fall between the Vandoren numbers. Yes, I'm going to actually get some and try them myself, but does anyone have any experience of this?

How accurate is the chart in terms of Rico vs Vandoren strengths?
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stratford on avon, warwickshire
if you get a rico 3 then it will be slightly softer than the vandoren 3 i think, or the rico jazz select reeds come in each reed strength number including 3 comes in soft, medium and hard. so three variations of each strength so a 3 soft might be suitable.

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
The Athens of The North
I was leafing through a clarinet tutor and the author had this to say. " Let your practice be mostly in the lower and medium registers; the higher register will take care of itself." Good advice I think.

The reed chart is accurate enough. I use Rico Royal No. 2 reeds and the Vandoren Traditional equivalent would be a !.5. The reed you are using would be the same as a Rico 3. Rico also do reeds branded Grand Concert and there are at least two versions of those. They are graded in 1/4 strengths and there is also a thick blank version. Other reeds from Vandoren seem to be more of a match with the Rico numbers.

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